As Ed Reed prepares to take his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, teammates, friends and coaches from his Ravens, college and high school years reflect on the legacy of the legendary Ravens safety with their favorite memories and never-before-heard stories.
As told to Glenn Clark
Bernard Pollard was a safety for the Ravens from 2011-2012.
We would always on the plane record each other’s sleep. He had an ugly face when he was asleep. But I think one of the good stories, we had just gotten to New Orleans [for the Super Bowl]. Me, him and Anquan [Boldin], we went over and did some extra work over [at Tulane University]. And so we did some contrasts, we did some extra workouts in the weight room. And we had caught, I think it was an Uber or a ride. We were going back to our hotel. And a guy pulled up next to us. Ed had rolled down the window; we were trying to go somewhere else, we were trying to stop somewhere to do something. Ed asked him for directions or Ed asked him about it, and the guy started talking. And then he goes, “Boy! That’s Ed Reed!” And so we all just start dying in the car. And still, to this day, any time him and I talk, I’ll text him that, or we’re on social media or whatever, I’ll put that on there because it’s something we still laugh about. I tell so many people just how special that moment was, just because we were able to win it in his hometown — it was awesome. And then to be able to have stories as well.
He actually taught me. If we made a good play and we come back to the sideline and whatever, the offense is on the field doing their thing, I would be like, “Yo, man! Let’s go, man!” Just be on the sideline just kind of tensed up. And he’s like, “Yo, man, calm down, let them do their thing! If they don’t, we go back out there and we do our thing.” That actually helped me as a player because I’m looking like, bump it. Whatever the offense do or don’t do, that’s cool. We’re going to go out there and make our plays. I think that spoke volumes. I’m a stickler to what our defensive coordinator would say. I would veer off every now and again, but Ed was like, “Yo, I’m rolling, Bernard. Cover me.” And I’m like, “OK?” It’s just one of those things where it’s like, “Bernard. We’re interchangeable.” And that’s one thing that I teach my DBs now as I train my guys. I’m like, “You’re interchangeable. If something happens to a cornerback, if a safety has to go play corner? Cool. If a corner’s gotta go play safety? Cool. You’re interchangeable.” That was truly, I think, a testament to his calmness. If anything happens — football, anyone can go down. And the same thing happened in the game, and he helped me. That’s who he is.
To read more memories of No. 20, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Reed.
Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox
Issue 255: June/July 2019